D-Fenders target Bob MacKinnon to be coach

After hiring their last three head coaches primarily based on their NBA experience, the Los Angeles D-Fenders are targeting a former D-League champion this time around.

The D-Fenders, the Los Angeles Lakers' D-League affiliate, are in advanced discussions to hire Springfield Armor head coach Bob MacKinnon to fill the vacancy caused when Mark Madsen joined Mike D'Antoni's staff on the Lakers, according to multiple league sources.

MacKinnon guided Springfield to just a 18-32 record last season but won a championship with the Colorado 14ers (now the Texas Legends) in 2009 in his first year coaching in the D-League.

MacKinnon, whose father Bob MacKinnon Sr. played, coached and was an executive in the NBA, was formerly an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina, which is the alma mater of Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak.

Madsen, who never coached a game for the D-Fenders before being promoted to D'Antoni's staff, was hired in May to replace Reggie Theus, who left the D-Fenders after a 21-29 season to become the head coach at Cal State Northridge. Theus was previously the head coach for the Sacramento Kings. Before Theus, the D-Fenders were coached by Eric Musselman (who previously coached the Golden State Warriors). Musselman coached the D-Fenders for one season, winning D-League coach of the year honors, before leaving to man the sidelines at Arizona State.